So Marvel has had a string of successful TV shows over the past several years that tie perfectly into their cinematic world. From Agents of Shield to Jessica Jones, Agent Carter to Daredevil, their world has become evermore expansive and consistent. The newest in this lineup, Luke Cage, brings together the fantastical nature of a Marvel hero, with the real believable setting of Harlem.
Luke Cage may not have the lasers or the telekinesis, but it’s not exactly necessary either. With the tone of its conflict, it’s good that his powers are grounded in some level of reality. It really gives him a very human aura.
One thing that the Netflix-exclusive series has really excelled in, is the creation of truly genuinely vile villain characters. The antagonistic style of the series’ main villain is outright brutal, and his flaws are ever-radiant throughout his consistent efforts to see to Luke’s destruction.
The episodes are an hour long each, and with the season being 12 episodes long, there is plenty to enjoy.
Admittedly, the weakest aspect of this series is that Luke’s own backstory and history feels irrelevant. The reason I say this, is that his powers make him relatively impervious to most things. The weight of conflict never really directly targets him as a character.
That being said, Luke is surrounded by a cast of well-developed, culturally sound characters who have major emotional impact, and make up for the fact that Luke doesn’t have many physical obstacles to overcome.
Luke Cage is a breath of fresh air, showing a progressive and well developed story of minority characters, which (while it has its fair share of it) is not exactly rooted in stereotypical gang violence. It’s open and unapologetic about Luke being black, not being afraid to use its voice to address cultural issues. It’s authentic, yet not offensive. It’s real, even in a world of Thors and Banners. If you’re roaming the world of Netflix and looking for a way to experience a true convergence of the world of heroism and our reality, Luke Cage is a series for you.